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Waiting out the storm

By Dan Howie | December 10th, 2013 | Department: Atlantic Row 2013 | Categories: News


It has been a tough few days for us - we're caught in a storm that's sweeping the Atlantic Ocean and the Canary Islands and threatening to push us back to La Gomera.

It's disheartening, we've been rowing for six days now and a lot of our hard work has been for nothing. The storm started on Sunday. We tried to row through it but the winds were too strong, so we set out our para anchor and waited for it to pass. We tried rowing again twice on Monday but it seemed that every row we did sent us in the wrong direction. In the end, we had no choice but to set out our para anchor again.

As I write this, we're both squeezed into the small cabin. We need to keep the door half open, just in case we capsize. If we do, we've got our lifejackets on. We have our chart-plotter pinned up in the cabin so we're looking at routes that will get us to Antigua the quickest. The storm is scary; the boat is rocking quite a lot!

Our weather chap has advised us that the storm will continue until tomorrow morning so we're using this time to get as much rest as possible. This means that when we start rowing again, we can go quite aggressively. He has told us that this is the worst weather we will see along the challenge, so if we can make it through this we know we can make it to Antigua! From the 16th December, the trade winds will be in our favour, so hopefully they can help us to make up for lost time.

We are also experiencing a few technical issues; our autopilot isn't working correctly but if we can't get this fixed then we have our foot-steer that will help us instead. We also have an issue with one of the seats. The runner isn't working properly so it keeps falling out the back. We'll try to fix this.

I'm not going to lie to you; morale is currently low. We had hoped to make it to Antigua in record time but now it looks like we won't be beating any world records. We've been battling it out over the last six days and rowing so hard - and now we're almost back where we started in La Gomera!

As I said earlier, we're hoping to start rowing again tomorrow morning. Have no fear - we'll be rowing as hard and as fast as we can to make up for lost time!

The fact that we are doing this challenge for three amazing charities is keeping us going. If you haven't sponsored yet, then please do so.

Tags: Atlantic Row, rowing, storm, boat